Tech neck is what happens when stress is put on the neck area by holding it at a 45-degree angle or greater. Not only can it be serious, but it can lead to other issues.
This affects your posture, and you’ve likely seen your kids do it, but plenty of adults are guilty of it, too.
Tech neck in kids
When a person is young, his or her bones are still forming, according to Crothers.
“You can’t take a full-grown tree and bend it, but you can take a baby tree and you can bend it,” he said. “If you leave it bent, that’s how it’s going to grow. So it’s really important for kids to not be in those positions.”
He said if they are using a device, have them look at it at eye level.
Tech neck in adults
While we, as adults, have already formed our bones, having improper posture can still cause damage to soft tissue.
For example, simply bending your finger back too far can put stress on the soft tissue.
“When you’ve got this poor posture, and you’re looking down at your phone for hours and hours at a time, it’s putting unnecessary stress on your soft tissue, which is going to lead to arthritis," Crothers said.
He said it’s important that your head be balanced over your shoulders.
“If it’s not balanced over your shoulders, as soon as you go forward, then gravity is pulling it down toward the ground,” Crothers said. “What’s left trying to hold it up are the muscles. You’re putting undue stress on areas that don’t need that stress."
Having proper posture can not only help you be free of neck pain and back pain, but it helps other areas, as well.
“Also, people develop (hip and) knee pain,” Crothers said. “Anytime you change the mechanics of how anything works, you’re going to get a symptom.”
What about the headaches?
“There are many different reasons that people have headaches, but a common reason is cervicogenic headaches, and that’s because they’re having poor posture,” Crothers said.
After a day full of poor posture, your body can start to get fatigued. That’s why headaches will often start in the base of the neck, and then they radiate up into the front.
“These are headaches that are easily corrected through proper posture and proper sleeping,” Crothers said. “You want to have good posture when you’re walking, when you’re sitting and when you’re sleeping.”
He added that one simple thing you can do to help yourself out through the day is to just draw your shoulders back. But many people will still have their head sticking out. He said be sure to retract it back.
“If you do this just for a couple weeks, you can actually make posture a good habit,” Crothers said.
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